Dual Cross 4

This past weekend I raced in the last of 4 Momentum Health Dual Cross events hosted by Advendurance Sport for 2015.

It was an extremely import event for me as it offered me an environment to test my current form leading into the 2016 Xterra season in less than 8 weeks from now. For the past 20 months I have struggled to race with no limits in my head and going all out. There has been countless of developments in my life not complimenting my training and racing until recently. Since the failure of me not racing in September at World Champs I have taken drastic measures to catch up to the top men in South Africa who in the past I managed to dominate in the 2012 – 2014 period. The main shift in mentality came about realizing that my overall training purpose is not to train to be a good training athlete…but more to train to allow myself the best possible chance to perform on race day.
Therefore I really looked forward to this event as I knew my swimming was in good shape after the previous weekend’s performance at the Gauteng North Triathlon Championships. I was really happy with the first run leg in the race and I actually believe next year I can possible challenge Brand du Plessis (He is so much better than the rest of us as we are all racing for second place at this moment in time at the Dual Cross events). 

One of my benchmark athletes to beat was Theo Blignaut. A Super athlete who in the last 20 months I have not manage to beat once.

I needed to do well against him to go into the December training block with confidence and assurance that I have improved overall as an athlete.

 I ran into Transition in 6th overall place realizing I would have to cycle as hard as I could to make it for a podium position. 

I only had three problems to deal with:

Brand du Plessis an athlete who is so much faster than the rest of us in this format of racing currently.
Renier Grobler one of the best Marathon runners and Duathlete’s in the country.
William Mokgopo who recently won the MTB 94.7 cycle challenge.  

On the bike leg I manage to slowly reel in Renier and William but Brand on the other had opened up another 2 – 3 min onto me. 

The cycle leg is a bit of challenge as the route is mostly jeep track and fast pace open roads. Meaning that in group you can technically go much faster for longer than on your own. My only problem was that I was caught in no man’s land and had to work really hard with high amounts of concentration to reel in William and Renier.  

I was more than happy when I ended the 30 km mtb leg going into T2 in 4th overall position. I was by then trailing Renier by 15 seconds and William less than 1 min.

I ran out of T2 (Transition 2) focused and determined to finish on the podium not realizing that the 2nd turn of the run leg I missed whilst I kept on running straight. This mistake cost me dearly and I ended up in a confused 4th overall. (I need to stress that I never completed the 2nd run leg and I most probably ran less than 2.5 km in total. I basically got lost and ran straight to the finish to complain about the poor marking and marshalling on the day. Never expecting that the organizer would just hand me 4th place overall. Their reasoning was that I was so far from 5th place overall that I should have at least finished 4th…..Honestly I should have been disqualified. See picture below and tell me which way, left or right split?????????)

Safe Training,
Nico Sterk

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  • Sterk Span Coaching Academy specializes in tailor made training programs, coaching session and advice for triathlon, swimming, learn to swim for adults, cycling, running and related sports such as adventure racing. Our athlete base range from lifestyle orientated individuals to national level athletes who compete at the highest level possible. We also offer services and training sessions for weight loss and lifestyle management.